Created by Lynn

Created by Lynn
(or what I get up to when I'm not taking pictures)


Hi and welcome!
This is my DIY, sewing, craft, cooking and gardening page,
a place I can gather all my non-photographic loves!
Here I put together the things I have made, cooked, sewn or grown that might be of interest to others.
In addition, there are some of the brilliant ideas I find on the internet which might get lost on my (many) Pinterest boards.
If you reached this page looking for my photography sites, here are the links to those!
Baby, Child and Family Portraits are at and
Headshots (actor, performer, web profile, online dating and social media portraits)
are at
My posing guide can be found by clicking here.


Upcycled Pillowcase Bags

Here in the UK, we've got a new charge for shopping bags, which has been brilliant in that
it makes everyone remember their bags. No more leaving them at home or in the car?
It seemed like an ideal time to finally get my head around sewing some reversible, lined bags
from upcycled and recycled vintage pillow cases. There are some amazing patterns out there!
Here's the latest fab Boho fabric I (re)discovered....

upcycled reversible shopping bags

Handmade eco shopping bag set

reversible lined shopping tote

Shopping bags made from upcycled vintage fabric

OOAK handmade shopping tote bags

Ties a'plenty, Ties galore!

I have a seemingly endless supply of neckties at the moment, so finally got around
to grouping them by colour and pattern (strangely soothing) and making some scarves out of them!
Love that these can be worn as a long infinity scarf or doubled as a cowl. My fave upcycling project at
the moment!

upcycled necktie scarf
Silk infinity scarf made from men's ties
Upcycled Necktie Scarf in Shades of Purple on Etsy
Upcycled Necktie Infinity Scarf Cowl in 'Downton Abbey' Paisley

Multicoloured Upcycled Infinity Cowl Scarf
Upcycled Multicoloured Infinity Cowl Scarf on Etsy

Handmade Patchwork Upcycled Necktie Scarf
Patchwork Cowl Scarf made from Men's Ties


French Bias Binding Technique

Much as I love sewing, I'm not always AS excited about finishing and hems,
so I was really excited to see this great tutorial for using bias tape at
Made by Rae

French Bias Binding Technique


Retro Wrap Top

Well summer has at last arrived here in London (dodging rain showers is all
part of the season, right?) and I am loving this retro wrap top idea from
the brilliant sewyourheartout site!
Think these could be made from some of the amazing fabric I've been upcycling from
cool sheets and duvet covers!

DIY easy wrap top


New Vintage Labels

I've been designing and photoshopping some new labels for cans.
( Just as well tinned tomatoes and pulses are so popular in this house!)
I really like using these to make the cans into cool looking makeup brush holders, utensil organisers and
receptacles for my many, many pens and brushes.

Vintage Can Labels for Tins and Scrapbooking


Still More Wrappable Clothing Ideas!

These wrap dress ideas are a fab idea for going on holiday!
Versatile to wear and easy to pack, I'm hoping to get some made and
enjoy a bit of winter sun this winter!
The link I got this from is no longer working, but it looks pretty
easy and self-explanatory?

Wrap and Go Dress DIY


Shrugs! With Sleeves!

Well, winter seems to have arrived here in London, so it's time to start making things snuggly!
I'm really in love with these super-wrappable shrug/bolero/scarf ideas!

wrap around shrug scarf bolero

Make a wrap around shrug scarf bolero


Adding Sleeves

I've been all about making dresses from duvet covers and sheets this summer.
Loads of fabric and lots of chances to practice dyeing techniques as well as
sewing ideas.
One of my favourite DIY patterns makes a jumper type dress with straps, but
as you just never know what the weather is going to be like, I thought I'd try
adding some easy (on and off) sleeves and love this idea for simple rectangular
flutter sleeves!

DIY rectangle flutter sleeves


Upcycled Slippers!

Well, the weather here in London is actually pretty summery! Yay!
But thinking ahead, now might be a great time to repurpose some of those sweaters
before sending them to the loft/charity shop?
Found some very cute slipper patterns
and I'll thank myself fireside when the days grow colder!

Upcycled Sweater Slippers DIY

Slippers from Old Jumpers


DIY Kimonos!

This is my new go-to simple DIY kimono pattern tute from
The Dangerous Mezzo
It can be varied about a zillion ways and made into boat and v-neck dresses and tunics.
And as the English summer tries to decide if it's going to warm up for any length of time
it's very handy to have a cute little jacket to throw on.

DIY rectangle kimono


Capes and Cowls and Angel Wings...Oh My!

So, throughout the winter I've been marginally obsessed with making ponchos, capes
and hybrids of the two. I love this 15 minute turtleneck cape tutorial from SewPetiteGal

15 minute cowl cape DIY

and have just made my favourite hybrid cape-dress by combining this technique with
the idea inspired by the photo below. Couldn't find a link for this one, so I (ahem) winged it and just
cut a long, narrow triangle out where I wanted sleeves.
Super simple and fast, just the way I like my sewing projects!

Angel Wing Cowl Cape DIY


Upcycled Newspaper Pulp Seed Starter Pots

I got this idea off Pinterest (the source of so many ideas) and
must say it's a brilliant way to both recycle newspaper AND get great little (free)
seedstarter pots for the windowsill sprouting of my allotment veg!
It's very simple, too.
Just shred your paper, add hot water (or you can boil the strips to make the
process go more quickly). Then blend to a pulp.
Press the pulp into a mould (I use a deep silicone muffin tin) squishing out
the water as you go.
You don't want to squeeze too much out before shaping. It seems to work better to
put an old washcloth into the finished pots to get rid of the excess.
Then just dry in the sun (or a slow oven) and you've got some great little biodegradable pots
that can be planted as is in the garden when your seeds have grown!

How to make biodegradable seed starter pots from newspaper pulp


What to do with all this paper?

So my printer packed in and while setting up a new one,
I had to print a LOT of alignment and colour correcting pages.
As I hate the idea of wasting paper (or even using it when I don't have to),
I decided I needed to design something useful for the backs.
As I do love a list, I photoshopped together a to-do list template
which I then printed on the backs of the many sheets, cut them apart
and stapled together to make notepads.
A simple way to have less waste and (maybe) be more organised? 

Use scrap paper and a template to make DIY to-do notes


Homemade Beet(root) Powder

Intrigued by the idea of using beet powder for both culinary and cosmetic purposes,
I decided to try dehydrating and grinding some.
If you have a food dehydrator, this is pretty easy to do, although your kitchen may end up
resembling a crime scene (beet juice is a stainer) in the process.
I just peeled some beets, shredded them raw and dried overnight.
The following morning, I ground the dried shreds in a spice grinder and, voila...
Apparently, 1 teaspoon is the equivalent of a whole beet, so I'll be adding with abandon!
For cosmetic purposes, the powder tends to sink in  my oils and lanolins, but I managed to
get a really lovely lip/cheek stain by boiling still more beets, then reducing the liquid and
adding some beet powder to this liquid.

How to make homemade beet powder


Adding Length and Ruffles to Tops and Dresses

Here are some lovely examples I've found for inspiration to add length (via ruffles) to tops and dresses
that are either a bit too short or just in need of a little upcycling-refashioning.

Add length to short tops dresses with ruffles

Shrug/Bolero Ideas

I love shrugs and boleros (one and the same?) and am always looking
for new ideas on how to make them!

How to make a shrug or bolero

DIY Rich Rosewater Moisturizer

DIY rich moisturizer

I've been making my own lip balms and body butter for a while now, but always wanted
to be able to make a really rich creamy moisturiser. After a bit of research on Pinterest, I discovered
this great post
which led me to the wonders of emulsifying wax!
This wax allows liquids to, well, emulsify, with oils and butters, thus creating an amazingly rich, fluffy cream,
sort of like rose (or your choice of fragrance) scented frosting for the face and body.
For my first foray into cream-making, I used

200ml of rosewater
20g emulsifying wax
10g grated beeswax
and 50ml almond oil

Melt the waxes with the oil until liquid and then slowly pour in the warmed rosewater while whipping.
That's all there is to it!
This stuff smells gorgeous and is SO hydrating.

I'm going to experiment with using different liquids (chai tea?) and oils. Perhaps cocoa butter or coconut oil next time.
And I'd be interested in trying out a bronzing butter recipe, and include cocoa powder, cinnamon & nutmeg, as seen in
this other great post.


Long and Flared to Short and Flippy!

One of my favourite refashions at the moment is taking long skirts that are flared at the bottom
and making them into short, flippy skirts.
There's less gathering if you're adding an elastic waist and less fabric to deal with
if adding a zip!


Upcycled Coke Can Roses

upcycled coke can roses

I'm really pleased with how these roses made from old Diet Coke cans turned out!
I'd tried a bunch of methods, and finally combined the ideas that worked best for me.
I basically cut flower shapes out of flattened tin cans (carefully!) then punched two small holes
in the centre of each shape and layered them onto a wire, which I then twisted to keep the
layers in place. Then it was just a case of bending and twisting the petals until I got the floral
shape I was after. Some spray paint and, voila, metal flowers that can be used to decorate
so many things!


Upcycled Soda Can with Lid

upcycled mod podge can

Empty soda cans are a great source of crafting material. I've been using the middle parts as sheets
(cutting CAREFULLY) for embossing and jewellery making, but was wondering what to do with all the tops of the cans.
Initially, I came up with mod-podging pretty paper onto them and making earring holders, then thought
they'd make a great lid for (yet) another can. Add a mod podged bead and (hey, presto) storage!


Jeans Upcycle


This was a really easy upcycle and now I have (yet another) shopping bag!
The handles are made from the hems of the jeans, so they're really strong. The body is cut from the legs and I cut off the
pockets to sew on the front and back.


Earring Cards

Now that I've made my earrings, I thought they needed some pretty presentation. So I designed some cards to display them!

Handmade Earrings and Display Cards

Here are some of my other designs for the display cards (eventually complete with where to punch the holes!)

Display Idea for earrings


Somewhere to Hang...

I saw these cheap and ornate frames and thought there had to be a use for them? So I decided to spray them dark pink and stick matching pink-sprayed skewers on the back. Voila, instant earring display!

DIY earring display frame


My Latest Earrings

I've made these from recycled paper and plastic printed with my designs (and those of more famous artists ;) ) which I've then edged, laminated or coated with resin domes and hooked onto wires with beads.

Lynn Herrick Earrings


Thinking about variations on the pillowcase dress concept!

Pillowcase Dress for Women


Still all about the shirring, so thought I'd have a go at adapting this pattern by adding a gathered band to a rectangle bodice and shirring the back?

Shirred Top


I've been really into making paper jewellery with my own designs, and using templates has helped a lot!
I laminate the templates (twice for sturdiness) and use a shape cutter to cut them out, then trace the images on my paper.
Here are the earrings I've made so far along with a link to the templates

Laminated Paper Earrings

Teardrop Template
Diamond Template
Shields Template


Just had this idea for how to make a top out of rectangles and shirring! Add a circle skirt and a potentially brilliant dress idea?

Rectangle Top To Sew


I've gotten really into making berets out of old t-shirts lately and thought I'd take it a step further by adding a newsboy style brim.
And how better than to use some upcycled materials?

How to make a hat brim from a plastic bottle


I've been wanting to make a set of posers for baby shoots for a while and decided to try it out with a big jersey remnant I had on hand.
The whole thing will be covered with an appropriate cloth/fabric depending on the shoot, but I think the 'boppy' style circle poser
will be great with the extra super-soft pillows to pose newborns and babies who aren't quite sitting up on their own!

Soft Baby Poser for Photography by Lynn Herrick


I've been all about vintage images and decoupage lately, and have been experimenting with creating floral frames
for some fabulous old photographs. Feel free to use the images below in your work
Framed Floral Portraits

Floral Vintage Framed Ladies


Well, it's been a while, but I thought I'd update this blog with some of the things I've made from my Pinterest explorations!

I really love some of the creative things I'd seen on Pinterest using bottle caps, so thought I'd try some of my own! After bending out the edges of the caps, I spray painted and hammered them out to create frames, then cropped some of my favourite artwork and made a template enabling me to punch them out with a 1" circle punch. I then either added resin or (once I discovered them) covered the images with clear domed stickers. Then I punched a hole in the cap and, hey presto, the arty and upcycled pendant on the left! I used the same technique with jewellery frame trays for the other earrings and necklace.

bottle cap pendant art earrings pendant one inch punch

One inch punch bottle cap and frame jewellery


I've been all about upcycled crafting these days and as I have (far too) many pens, brushes and cutting tools, organising them into containers has been a challenge!

But an easy, cheap and green way to make pretty storage is to use upcycled cans. So I've been creating 'vintage' can labels (I'm on French and Old Seed Catalogue themes at the moment) in Photoshop and putting them on recycled cans that I've spray painted gold (or black, as the mood hits) and then covered with clear contact paper.

(And I couldn't resist making the dyed coffee filter roses as they go so well with this 3 image label - just turn it around and it's a whole new ornament)!

vintage can label coffee filter flowervintage printable can labels

'Vintage' Cans


Not a plastic bottle hits the recycling bin these days! One of my favourite projects has been making beads from the aforementioned.

This involves cutting the bottles into strips, wrapping them around needle nosed pliers, and heating them with a heat gun until they shrink.

The green one in the photos on the right was made with a green (well, I guess that's obvious) bottle, and for the pink one, I used a clear plastic bottle and smeared pink nail polish on the inside of the bead before heating. I like the smearing vs painting as it gives each bead a unique level of colour and transparency.

I love the look of these glass-like beads and the fact that they're upcycled (even the beads between were charity shop finds)!

green plastic bead braceletpink plastic bottle beads

Plastic Bottle Beads


Having found a stash of paper clips, I also made necklaces using these strung together and decorated. I used decorated duct tape on the first necklace, then created my own pattern and 'sealed' them on the clips with clear contact paper (one of my new favourite things!) The foam rose pendant was made by that Pinterest-popular method of twisting & rolling. I then hot glued the roses to another bit of foam, added a bail and, voila!

paper clip duct tape foam flower pendant

Paper Clip Necklaces & Foam Rose Pendant


My current favourite jewellery upcycle is paper bead making. The grey and turquoise patterned ones were made from 2 different patterns I created and printed on recycled paper, rolled, varnished and strung with found coloured and silver beads. I really like the versatility of this craft and have made a pattern for the beads as well as a cutting guide for the various sized and shapes.

Paper Beads Tutorial How to make paper beads

Paper Beads


Well, I've managed to accumulate a LOT of craft materials (finally collected enough pop tops for the bracelet), yet am
ever on the lookout for more! There are just so many great ideas out
there for Christmas crafting.

Here are some of the things I'm working on or about to work on this month...

How cute are these miniature gift boxes? I've already printed a few

and am thinking about making more in other patterns for the rest of the year.

And as I'm a photographer, I do love to see any new ideas for displaying photographs, like this great one for DIY Foam Canvas Prints

And I think I need to make Homemade Body Butters for gifts (and for myself)! Maybe you could scent these with your favourite essential oils?


I'm fairly new to blogging, which is rather unusual as I usually try out any and all new means of communicating as soon as I hear of them. Until recently, I'd mainly only read blogs about photography, as this is my job (and passion).

But then a friend invited me to join Pinterest and suddenly I was reading blogs about everything from upcycling plastic spoons into rose brooches

Plastic Spoon Rose

Melted Plastic Spoon Brooch

to how to make taco cupcakes. I was well and truly hooked, and now find I'm addicted to the whole upcycle/DIY phenomenon!

Suddenly I'm scouring the recycling bin for potential jewellery and raiding my boyfriend's closet for possible wardrobe additions. No longer do I only seek out tripods and flash head stands on eBay. Not when there are chains, clasps, beads and bangles to be had there to add to the (rapidly increasing) pile of 'craft supplies' now given their own space in a corner of my office. And that would include colourful magazine pages, enabling me to make these paper beads.

Magazine Bead Bracelet

Magazine Paper Bead Bracelet


I'm sure the recycling people will be pleased to see my near-empty bin on collection day. Now if I can only collect enough soda can pull tops to make a bracelet

Soda Pop Top Bracelet

Pop Top Bracelet

Plus, the cans themselves can be cut to make flower pendants!

Aluminium Can Jewellery

Found a pilates ring in the sales today, so thought I'd make the £2.00 investment
and gather some images to try it out! Here's to arms of steel this summer?

pilates ring arm exercises

Lynn Herrick is a professional, experienced headshot photographer in London specialising in
Actor/Actress, Musician, Model, Singer, Dancer, Performer, Journalist and Presenter head shots.
Lynn shoots professional colour or black & white spotlight ready 8x10 headshots for castings & auditions and to use online.

Lynn also creates head and shoulder portraits for corporate and PR clients, web profiles and personal websites.


North London Photography and London Headshot Photography - 0208 349 3632
9a Sylvester Road | London N2 8HN
Copyright © Lynn Hammarstrom-Craggs 2017

Lynn Herrick Photography on Facebook
Lynn Herrick Photography on Linkedin
Lynn Herrick on Google Plus
Lynn Herrick on Pinterest
Lynn Herrick on Twitter